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Singer Whitney Houston Remembered by Friends, Fans

MusicMusic IndustryWhitney HoustonJennifer Hudson

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) -- Tributes for Whitney Houston continue to pour in following her sudden death on Saturday.

Houston was reportedly found by a member of her entourage in the bathtub of her fourth floor suite at the Beverly Hilton. She was 48.

A growing memorial including flowers and candles has been set up outside the hotel, located at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards.

"Bittersweet memories that is all we will take us," one note read. "We will always LOVE you."

"She touched a lot of people," fan Rachelle Lombard told KTLA.

"When I went out last night for my birthday, her songs were playing everywhere and everyone knew every lyric and it just, it's heartwarming," Lombard said.

On Sunday morning, Houston's unforgettable songs took center stage at 94.7 The Wave's Sunday Brunch at the Luxe Hotel in Brentwood.

Bill Dudley dug deep in his library of Whitney albums and says nothing was off limits.

"We're playing a lot of things we didn't play for a while," Dudley said.

"This is the biggest death in the music industry since we lost Michael Jackson a few years ago."

First AME Church in West Adams took a moment of silence for the singer.

"She did worship here from time to time, certainly we're just saddened that we've lost her," Rev. John J. Hunter said.

Reverend Al Sharpton also paid tribute to the singer at the Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

"Something about Whitney that would make you feel," he remembered.

The grief over the Houston's death was evident Sunday evening on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards.

"She just had such an incredible voice," singer Diana Ross recalled. "Just a beautiful, beautiful face."

Gospel singer Kim Burrell told CNN she'd exchanged voicemails with her good friend Houston shortly before her death, describing her as being "in great spirits, as always."

Burrell said she'd flown to California to join Houston in attending a pre-Grammy party Saturday night hosted by the songstress' longtime mentor, Clive Davis.

She always thought of Houston as a "fighter" and a "survivor," which made the idea of her passing all the more difficult to comprehend.

"She's my sister and she'll always be my sister," said an emotional Burrell. "I love her dearly."

The Grammys included a moment of silence for Houston at the top of the broadcast.

LL Cool J began his Grammy monologue by acknowledging "we've had a death in our family" and offering a prayer thanking God "for sharing our sister Whitney with us."

Toward the end of the show, under a bright, solitary spotlight, Jennifer Hudson took to the stage at the Staples Center to perform Houston's mega-hit "I Will Always Love You."

"I was brought to tears again last night, as I'm sure many were, when Jennifer Hudson sang 'I Will Always Love You' on the Grammys in memory of Whitney," singer Dolly Parton said.

"Like everybody else, I am still in shock. But I know that Whitney will live forever in all the great music that she left behind. I will always have a very special piece of her in the song we shared together and had the good fortune to share with the world."

Her sentiments were echoed by countless other musicians and celebrities.

"You're going to remember where you were when you heard the news. It's that significant. She was undoubtedly one of the greatest superstars of all time," music producer Simon Cowell said.

"One of the greatest voices in our lifetime we're likely ever to hear. And to hear this news, it really, really, really upset me."

"Her notes soared to places most singers dream of reaching," signer Christina Aguilera said.

Rihanna -- a performer at Sunday's Grammy Awards -- expressed her disbelief on Twitter.

"No words! Just tears #DearWhitney," singer Rihanna -- a performer at Sunday's Grammys -- tweeted.

"Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!" she added.

Sean "Diddy" Combs posted: "Whitney Houston!!! OMG! I really can't believe this.. This is one of the saddest days ever.."

Queen Latifah also expressed great sadness, posting, "Oh Dear Lord! Hurting so bad!!! MY sister Whitney!!!!!"

She added: "Newark please pray!!!! World please pray!"


Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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